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GCSEs 2014 Changes -pls explain how this will impact current Yr 9s/

(35 Posts)
mulranno Sun 11-Sep-11 08:50:19

I understand that it is all change with GCSEs for this cohort who will not do now do "modular" courses....does this mean that they still do coursework tho with a final old fashioned exam at then end?

KatieMcFlightly Sun 11-Sep-11 08:53:18

It's started in English already. The 'coursework' component is now done under teacher supervision in class. It's to deal with plagiarism

duckyfuzz Sun 11-Sep-11 09:06:26

Current courses have controlled assessments rather than coursework. The govt wants to remove this and focus on terminal exams, with minimal resit opportunities. Nothing is known for definite yet, but it is intended that this starts with ks4 from 2012 courses, so current y9. Many schools however start ks4 in y9, so the restriction of 2 yrs to teach will have impact here. We can only wait and see, then cope with yet another change to specs, moving of the goalposts and then take the flak for the lower results that are inevitable if thus goes ahead. Tough times for students and teachers.

mulranno Sun 11-Sep-11 09:55:48

Ok - our school confirmed that the 2012 KS4 would be under the "new system" - so does this mean then that for this cohort there will be no "controlled assessment" at all for any exams ie 100% focus on terminal exams?

magentadreamer Sun 11-Sep-11 10:50:47

I really feel for the Teachers who will have to get to grips with yet another Spec! I've just looked at the spec for my DD's GCSE English Language and fail how to see it could be more vigrously assessed. DD will have to do two one hour external exams plus 4 hours of CA for one unit and a further unit of spoken language which includes 3 speaking tasks and a two hour CA on Studying Spoken Language. Lets also not forget prep time for these CA's the board is recommending for some 15 hours.... I'm actually starting to think DD turning up for 2 2 hour exams in yr11 might be a bit of a doss!

hocuspontas Sun 11-Sep-11 11:24:25

So what's wrong with the controlled assessments? Surely they haven't been around long enough to make the decision that they are not working?

Dd3 just started yr9 and every few months since year 7 the parents have been summoned to school with yet another GSCE change. First it was the introduction of vocational GSCEs because the school was losing out in the local league tables by only doing traditional subjects, then that was abolished because of the Eng Bacc so NO ONE is allowed to do vocational GCSEs, then last year, language options had to be decided so they could start a 3-year course starting this term, then it was decided that everyone had to take a DT GCSE and choices had to be made last term (in year 8 fgs) now we have a meeting next week which I assume is to discuss the latest changes.

noblegiraffe Sun 11-Sep-11 12:02:54

I've been a maths teacher 7 years, in that time I've taught linear with coursework, linear without coursework, three tiers of entry, two tiers of entry, modular with a multiple choice section, modular with a functional maths element. I also prepared kids for a pilot of a functional maths exam that was supposed to be taken alongside maths and they wouldn't be awarded a C at GCSE if they didn't pass it. That was quietly scrapped a couple of months before it was due to be rolled out, I expect because so many kids failed.

I really wish successive education secretaries would stop pissing around with what they reckon will be a good idea and bloody tinkering all the time.

And I wish it wasn't so bloody political. Employers bang on about how kids are leaving school without basic numeracy skills despite having a C at GCSE (which is, tbh, probably fair). So the government says that kids need to prove their numeracy skills and add a practical maths element to the GCSE. Kids can't do this (which employers already know) because the changes haven't had time to bed down in the curriculum. But instead of sucking up the new lower amount of kids getting a C and giving it time, the grade boundaries are lowered so once again we get record numbers of passes. Hurray for the government for improving standards.

end of rant.

webwiz Sun 11-Sep-11 14:34:22

noblegiraffe I sympathise completely with your point of view - DS is my third DC to go through GCSEs and there have been so many changes in a short period of time that I'd just like to get hold of someone in government and yell "stop messing about with things" in their face. I would like my DCs teachers to able to focus on actually teaching and not learning how to deliver yet another new syllabus.

cricketballs Sun 11-Sep-11 21:04:58

noblegiraffe - I am with you in every word you have said! I teach a vocational subject and the amount of changes I have had to manage in the last 5 years has been ridiculous! I just get my head around one spec/assessment criteria etc ane another qualification/specification is rolled out

Theas18 Mon 12-Sep-11 08:09:25

Argh! My kids are just 3 school years apart and it changes every time!

Eldest DD did mostly terminal exams as will youngest it seems (eldest coped fime DD2 more of a stresshead so I'm not so happy). DS now going through the continual lower level annoyance of all the controlled conditions stuff. It doesn't suit him at all- doing fine but doesn't like it IYSWIM. As a bight boy he'd be better with a terminal exam schedule.

Such is life!

hocuspontas Tue 13-Sep-11 20:26:59

Just went to the year 9 parents' meeting and all it was was a run through of the rules and policies. There was me expecting a talk about GCSE changes! At the end I asked the DH if any changes were afoot and he said that although 'anything could happen' he thought that a change to having just terminal exams would take longer to bring in than 3 years and wouldn't affect the current year 9s. I couldn't tell if he was bluffing because he usually avoids me after meetings and he may have said this to bring the conversation to a halt. grin

chrchrch Wed 14-Sep-11 09:39:22

For iGCSEs, the subjects and standards seem less susceptible to political winds and fads. It's as if the iGCSE product was developed orginally for overseas customers, who want what it says on the tin, and not what the latest Secretary of State decides will avoid getting him/her prised out of the job.

State secondaries can offer iGCSEs now. So why not vote with their feet, follow their professional instincts, choose to teach what's best for developing children, rather than follow the latest Government obsession? Independents have always had the freedom to choose, and voted with their feet on Physics, Chemistry, Biology, MFLs.......... I'm really curious as to why it's not happened in the state sector.

mulranno Wed 14-Sep-11 10:11:41

hocuspontas -- our state grammar head absolutely confirmed that the current year 9 would have 100% terminal exams......

chrchrch we have just had a note today to say that they are moving most subjects over to iGCSE -- how does this work? -- do all the exam boards do iGCSE? --

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 17:31:18

How will this affect a child in bottom set, with SEN, but not statemented (SA+)? She will fail EVERYTHING if she has to do it 100% exams? She NEEDS the ability to do coursework over a longer time with support. She will fail EVERY exam if they are 100% exams, she panics in exams.

She has just started Y9.

ilovedog Wed 14-Sep-11 19:11:51

hi, I'm a mother of 2 who are 13 &14. we've been living in different countries in Asia for the last 20 years. I look for a boarding school in uk for our son as he attended International schools and speaks only English. My husband is from Germany but our son doesn't speak German. In Germany there are only 3-4 boarding schools where students can study in English or take IB program and their tuition is so expensive....we can't afford that. I heard that there are some boarding schools in uk where students from EU countries would pay reasonable tuition fee. Do anyone know about those schools?
We are moving again soon and we don't want to move him again at Year 12 or 13.

noblegiraffe Wed 14-Sep-11 20:26:09

Huntycat - they are not switching courses to 100% exams. They are changing it so that you cannot sit modules throughout the course. The material will now only be externally examined in an exam situation at the end of 2 years. Coursework will still be done throughout the course, under controlled conditions.

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 20:29:01

When you say you cannot sit modules - does that mean no resits, so no chance to get a better mark? DD will need this, if she is to scrape 'C' grades. She'll not get them otherwise (and will be hard pushed even with modular courses and multiple resits).

noblegiraffe Wed 14-Sep-11 20:32:47

That's right, there won't be modules so you can't resit individual bits of the course. You can resit the GCSE, however.

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 22:52:34

Oh GOD! <<Panics>> DD will never get the 3 'C' grades she needs for her college course if she can't resit modules. Fuckity fuck. Why do they have to change things when it is better for DD the way it was? This is going to be a nightmare for dc with SEN.

busymummy3 Thu 15-Sep-11 22:14:42

well what happens if your DC has just started in Y10? has already sat 1st module of Maths GCSE Biology Physics and Chemistry GCSE'S in Y9(June) came in last week with results(all a*) do these not count and she has to start again?

shineypenny Thu 15-Sep-11 22:24:22

noblegiraffe - they are changing it to 100% final exams, i.e. two year course and then sit one or more papers under exam conditions.
Also, they want to implement restrictions on resits, so that the only children who will be able to resit will be those who did not do as expected based on national assessment (CATS results etc). This will mean that an A/A* student will not be able to resit if they get an A and want/need an A*.
The government wants to implement these changes from the current Year 9, but it hasn't gone through parliament yet.

shineypenny Thu 15-Sep-11 22:26:44

Just to add - noticed that you are a teacher. My dh is a HoD and that is how he understands it.

noblegiraffe Thu 15-Sep-11 22:55:40

shineypenny, from what I understand, from 2012 all external exams will be taken at the end of the course. The curriculum is then being completely overhauled (core subjects from 2013, the rest from 2014) and who knows what that will bring.

This letter says 'The Secretary of State has decided that for all GCSE courses
starting from September 2012, all external exams will
be done at the end of the course (ie summer 2014). The
specifications will not change but there will be no modular
examinations during the course' ...then that when the curriculum is overhauled 'At that point approaches to assessment (including controlled assessment) will be reconsidered'.

Which suggests that controlled assessment stays for the moment but may go in the future. I'm not sure how they could justify getting rid of all coursework - geography fieldwork for example?

gramercy Fri 16-Sep-11 10:20:08

I sympathise with some people, such as HuntyCat's dd.

But, at the moment GCSEs are not sorting the wheat from the chaff. Being able to take exams in little bite-size chunks, and retaking them over and over again, and producing coursework which has been "influenced" too much by a parent or teacher is not fair on those who actually know their stuff.

Obviously there are some subjects (cookery, art, dance...) which need to be assessed on a practical element - although my mother who took School Certificate back in the dark ages had to do a one-off cookery exam where you were given the ingredients, a recipe and two hours to produce the required dishes.

CustardCake Fri 16-Sep-11 12:34:47

The retakes system just makes final exam grades meaningless and is unfair adding burden to those who find academic work harder and devaluing the academic achievements of those who get high marks first time round. I do sympathise with those who freak out a little bit in tests but having the opportunity to constantly retake them until you get a mark you are happy with is ridiculous.
If a university or college specify 5 A-C grades they presumably want students who are reasonably academic and feel this is necessary to ensure success on their course. If the students they get are naturally C or D standard but have re-sat every module to boost their grades a little, this gives a totally false impression of their true ability and their suitability for further education courses.

I do understand though that the current system is so academically results driven that options to those whose natural abilities lay below a grade C level are limited and as such they are forced to try, try and try again until they can get a magic "c" in order to access any further courses. The requirements for vocational courses should be in line with skills and suitability not dependent on academic grades and the opportunities for those who are not naturally A* - C type children should be opened up much further.

At the moment it is a vicious cycle - you have to have a grade C or above to be deemed suitable for practically any further education courses and therefore kids retake loads of modules to achieve this but that devalues the grade C's and makes only A's and B's worth having in the eyes of many. If it continues like that, anything less than 10A*s will be seen as failing!

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